grilled ancho chili spice rubbed skirt steak

Ancho Chili Spice Rubbed Skirt Steak

Grilled skirt steak smothered in a spicy, smokey ancho chili Mexican-style dry rub. Delicious in tacos or as a stand alone meaty main dish.

Best Mexican Skirt Steak Recipe – Low Carb, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Keto

Kitchen serendipity. It’s a real thing. Elusive and rare, but real. Sometimes you throw together ingredients and a recipe just works. When that happens, I feel as though I just stumbled upon a pot of of gold or a unicorn, some kind of mythology that happens only in my dreams.

This Ancho Chili Spice Rubbed Skirt Steak is the skirt steak of my dreams. Normally, I buy only hoity-toity cuts of meat. If it isn’t a filet or a ribeye, I don’t want it. However, this dry rub transforms an otherwise boring and often chewy cut of meat into something memorable and worthy of your week night rotation.

grilled skirt steak
This Ancho Chili Spice Rubbed Skirt Steak is delicious on its own, but is also wonderful in tacos or in a low-carb burrito bowl.

How to Make Ancho Steak Rub


  • ancho chili powder
  • brown erythritol (Swerve), sub coconut sugar (Paleo)
  • sea salt
  • garlic
  • cumin
  • Mexican oregano
  • Coriander
  • Black pepper
  • skirt steak

Carne Asada Skirt Steak Rub Tips & Tricks

The magic of this recipe is in the rub and letting that skirt steak “marinade” for a good four hours or more. The brown Swerve (coconut sugar if you eat paleo) and salt act a natural tenderizer which will mitigate the chewiness that is often associated with skirt steak. Once the muscle fibers start to break down, the spices and garlic are able to work their way into the meat to impart flavor.

Once the steak has had some good marinade time, let it come to room temperature. Since skirt steak is a fairly thin cut of meat, bringing it to room temperature before grilling will help offset uneven cooking. We are a medium rare family, so about 8 minutes (4 minutes each side) on a 450 degree grill was perfect. Let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain into thin strips.

skirt steak on the grill
The skirt steak, since it is so much thinner than many of the fancier cuts, really only needs a quick sear on a hot grill. Four minutes on each side will give you a nice medium rare internal temperature.

How to Serve Low Carb Carne Asada

Ancho Chili Spice Rubbed Skirt Steak makes a great taco filling, a perfect burrito bowl protein, or is delicious served on its own topped with some Smokey Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa.

My favorite way to enjoy this cut of meat is in a “burrito bowl” with cilantro lime cauliflower rice, grilled zucchini and summer squash, all topped with salsa, queso fresco, pepitas, and a little jalapeno Cholula. Yum.

Other Low Carb Mexican Recipes you’ll love

Ancho Chili Spice Rubbed Skirt Steak
Yield: 6 people

Ancho Chili Spice Rubbed Skirt Steak

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Marinade: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 13 minutes

Smokey and spicy, this Mexican style dry rub works wonders on an otherwise chewy cut of meat. Great grilled and smothered with salsa.


  • 1 1/2 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown erythritol (Swerve), sub coconut sugar (Paleo)
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed/minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano, Mexican
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 lbs skirt steak


  1. Combine spices, garlic, and Swerve in a small food processor or spice mill. Pulse to combine. 
  2. Rub both sides of the skirt steak with your dry rub. Set on a baking sheet in the refrigerate to let "marinate" for 4-6 hours ideally, however, at least 2 hours will impart nice flavor. Remove steak at least 45 minutes before grilling to allow the meat to come to room temperature.
  3. While your steak is coming to room temperature, preheat grill to 450 degrees. Grill meat for about 8-10 minutes (4 minutes per side) for a medium rare (depending on the thickness of your skirt steak). Remove from heat and let the meat rest for 10 minutes before carving. Slice into thin strip against the grain.
  4. Serve steak as desired (in burrito bowls, in a taco, or stand alone). Top with Smokey Chipotle Tomatillo Salsa, if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

6 people

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 296Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 631mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 31g

Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and calculated to the best of my ability using online databases. It is suggested that you perform your own check to ensure that a recipe fits within the scope of your dietary needs.

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